Change is Good (and healthy)

I am not healthy. It’s something I realised just after Christmas. I know many of us put on a few pounds over the festive season, regretted as soon as January begins. But for me, this was a little more than that. I realised that I have gained some really unhealthy habits. It’s not even just weight gain. I don’t feel healthy. I know that’s a bit of an abstract thing to say but it’s just that feeling of unhealthiness. I’ve never been skinny and I’ve been a bit overweight since having Pip but I always felt ok. Now I actually don’t, which is quite worrying really.

I do walk for around two hours every weekday but that is all of the exercise I regularly do. I’ll occasionally do half an hour of pilates but nothing regular.

I eat plenty of fruit and vegetables. The problem is, I also eat plenty of everything else. It’s always been a problem of mine. I am always hungry. Put food near me and I’m bound to eat it. It’s shameful really, having so little self control.

So, I need to make some changes. I am not going on a strict diet and exhausting exercise regime. I’ve been there and done that and it simply does not work for me. I do not have the self control. So it’s time for a different approach.

First of all,  I’m going to give the 5:2 diet a try. Supposedly it’s the diet for people who find it difficult to stick to diets. It’s also not very strict. You simply only eat 500 calories on two days of the week and try to eat reasonably for the other five days. No list of allowed foods or recipes. No disgusting shakes made from powder that never seems to quite dissolve. No special supplements.

Secondly, I’m going to make healthier food decisions. No, I’m not cutting out chocolate or banning takeaways. I’m simply going to choose healthier options. Instead of ice cream, I’ll choose frozen yoghurt. Instead of crisps, I’ll choose air popped popcorn. I’ll try to cut down on my portions a bit too. After she got a little used to eating treats over Christmas, I’ve imposed a ‘No treats on weekdays’ rule for Pip. Well, it seems a bit hypocritical if I say this to her then dive into the chocolates as soon as she’s in bed. So I’m going to try and stick to it as well. No chocolate or sweets on weekdays. That’s not denying myself them completely, it’s just putting a more healthy habit in place. Who knows, I might find myself enjoying these things a bit more if I have to wait for them.

Thirdly, I’m going to try and do some more regular exercise. I think twice a week to begin with then maybe push it up to three times. I really want to get back into jogging and I’ll stick with pilates too as my belly has been a mess for five years and it’s time I sorted it out!

I think the main thing is to remind myself that I actually enjoy lots of healthy foods. They don’t have to boring or taste bad. So I really want to look at a few recipes that are healthy, easy to make and taste yummy. Here are a few breakfast ones:

Honey & cinnamon porridge

Hot and comforting on a cold morning, this is also favourite of Pip’s. The honey and cinnamon honestly do make it taste just as good as porridge sweetened with sugar and much, much better than a fry up! Also, if you half the portion and use water instead of milk, it makes a great breakfast for fast days on the 5:2 diet.

40g porridge oats

270ml skimmed milk

2 tsp honey

a pinch of cinnamon

1. Add the oats and milk to a saucepan over a medium heat. Then add the honey and cinnamon.

2. Stir until the porridge is as thick as you prefer.

Banana Smoothie

Unlike lots of smoothie recipes, this has no expensive or strange ingredients and tastes wonderful. Also makes a quick and easy breakfast.

1 banana

250 ml skimmed milk

2 tsp honey

Put all ingredients into a blender, blend (obviously) and serve. So simple and so yummy.

Crumpets topped with yoghurt, berries and honey

I think this was one of the Hairy Biker’s diet recipes. I’ve only had it once or twice and, despite being healthy, it actually feels like a real treat! Fat free yoghurt is one of those ingredients that doesn’t cost any extra and I really don’t think tastes too different either.

2 crumpets

About 2 tbsp of fat free yoghurt

About 100g frozen berries (I like raspberries but you could use whichever you like best)

1 tsp honey

Put the frozen berries in a saucepan and heat to thaw and warm up. Creates lots of lovely juice too. Toast the crumpets and serve topped with the yoghurt, then the warm berries and some of their juice (if you use it all, you might find you get a soggy crumpet and nobody wants that…) and then drizzle the honey on top.

I’ll post some nice, healthy and simple lunch and dinner recipes at some point too.

I’m really hoping that with a few changes to my lifestyle, I’ll start to feel better again. Wish me luck!

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